Headline Week Five of Chautauqua Institution’s 2021 Season
Ego Nwodim, Lewis Black, Bill Engvall, Straight No Chaser, Eric Deggans, Ballet All-Stars
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution today proudly announces the program lineup for Week Five of its 2021 season. The week, which begins July 24 and concludes July 31, features events, lectures, and classes both in-person on the grounds and livestreamed through CHQ Assembly. Week Five includes renowned guests such as “Saturday Night Live” star Ego Nwodim, Grammy Award-winning “King of Rant” Lewis Black, Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling recording artist and comedian Bill Engvall, NPR television critic Eric Deggans, and dancers from top-tier national companies such as New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Joffrey Ballet.
Chautauqua Institution’s nine-week season features weekday lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes. Week Five examines “The Authentic Comedic Voice: A Week in Partnership with the National Comedy Center,” in which speakers in the 10:30 a.m. Chautauqua Lecture Series program explore how comedians from an array of genres, medias and styles use comedy to find their voice and communicate with audiences in impactful and entertaining ways. The 1 p.m. Interfaith Lecture Series examines the theme “The Authentic Comedic Voice: Truth Born of Struggle,” which considers that authentic comedic articulation often arises out of struggle, pathos and the need to speak the truth.
The Rev. Frank A. Thomas will serve as the guest chaplain for the week. Thomas is director of the Ph.D. Program in African American Preaching and Scared Rhetoric and the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is also the CEO of Hope for Life International and serves as a member of the international board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of teachers of preaching.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Ego Nwodim will be interviewed by NPR TV critic Eric Deggansabout her career in comedy.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Michael Krasny is a professor of English language and literature at San Francisco State University, author, award-winning broadcast journalist, and retired host of KQED’s “Forum.” He’ll open a week focused on “Laughter as Healing” with his signature sense of humor.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time television critic, a contributor and media analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, and an adjunct instructor of journalism and public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. He’ll explore the evolution of Black comedy on TV.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Leighann Lord is a comedian, actor, author and speaker who believes that humor makes people happy, and happiness gives us all hope that, if we can laugh together, we can live together.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Caty Borum Chattoo is co-founder and co-director of the Yes, And Laughter Lab, a creative incubator of comedy for social justice. She is also an award-winning media producer, executive, scholar and the executive director of the Center for Media & Social Impact. Her work uplifting voices from historically marginalized communities and her research on comedy and social change will frame her lecture at Chautauqua.
Interfaith Lecture Series: Benji Lovitt has delivered standup performances and cultural presentations for audiences around the world. He has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with Israel’s Foreign Ministry to help diplomats overcome cultural differences and communication gaps. He brings a unique viewpoint on the humorous side of life in the Holy Land which has helped create and promote positive Israel associations for audiences of all religions.
Chautauqua Lecture Series: Bob Mankoff is currently the cartoon editor at the weekly online newsletter “Air Mail” and, for 20 years, was cartoon editor for The New Yorker where he co-created the famous “New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.” He also launched CartoonCollections.com, the largest cartoon licensing source on the planet, and authored numerous books including his New York Times bestselling memoir, How About Never — Is Never Good For You?
Aside from the daily lectures, Week Five features a variety of afternoon and evening arts and entertainment programs live at the Amphitheater or the Performance Pavilion on Pratt, with some offerings available via livestream and on-demand through the CHQ Assembly platform.
4 p.m. Saturday, July 24, Performance Pavilion on Pratt: Half scripted, half improvisation and playing like a Shakespeare improv with modern day language, Chautauqua Theater Company’s Commedia will delight with familiar yet ridiculous storylines and references ripped from today’s headlines. CTC will stage additional performances at 4 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of this week.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 24, Amphitheater: Disney’s animated film classic “Beauty and the Beast” will be projected on the big screen and accompanied by the score, played live by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25, Amphitheater: The heartwarming silent film “The Gold Rush” starring Charlie Chaplin in his Little Tramp character will be projected alongside a score created and performed live by organist Joshua Stafford.
8:15 p.m. Sunday, July 25, Amphitheater: Curated by Sasha Janes, the Alumni All-Star Ballet Gala brings artists from top-tier national companies such as New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet to Chautauqua for an exciting mixed repertoire evening of contemporary and classical dance.
8:15 p.m. Monday, July 26, Amphitheater: Grammy Award-winning comedian Lewis Black will use his trademark style of comedic yelling and finger pointing to expose the absurdities of life in his standup debut at Chautauqua.
8:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, Amphitheater: Grammy-winning orchestra Apollo’s Fire and Jeannette Sorrell bring a program of Venetian treats to Chautauqua, including works by Vivaldi, Moteverdi, and Strozzi.
4 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, Performance Pavilion on Pratt: Led by stage director Chauncey Packer, conductor Steven Osgood, and composer team of Frances Pollock, Sage Bond and Jasmine Barnes, the Chautauqua Opera Company’s Young Artists present As the Così Crumbles: A Company-Developed Piece, a reimagining of beloved arias and ensembles from opera’s greatest hits.
8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, Amphitheater: Conductor Rossen Milanov and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra present an evening of works by Dvořák and Beethoven.
8:15 p.m. Thursday, July 29, Amphitheater: Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist Bill Engvall brings his comedy to Chautauqua.
4 p.m. Friday, July 30, Performance Pavilion on Pratt: An opera by Derrick Wang, directed by Cara Consilvio and conducted by Steven Osgood, Chautauqua Opera Company’s Scalia/Ginsburg is a one-act comedy about the unlikely friendship between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
8:15 p.m. Friday, July 30, Amphitheater: The nine captivating voices of the a cappella group Straight No Chaser are bringing an evening of tightly arranged songs, impeccable vocal harmonies, and a healthy sense of humor to Chautauqua.
ADDITIONAL LECTURES/CONVERSATIONS ON CHQ ASSEMBLY
Chautauqua proudly continues some cherished programming online in lieu of additional in-person programming during the 2021 Summer Assembly.
3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25: The Chautauqua Writers’ Center presents a free Sunday reading with poet in residence Philip Brady and prose writer in residence Akil Kumarasamy.
3:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 28: Chautauqua Women’s Club and Chautauqua Cinema present “Battle for the Elephants” with producer Katie Carpenter for the third Meet the Filmmaker event of 2021.
3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29: The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle presents Fredrik Backman’s book Anxious People, which tells the story of a diverse group of strangers who find themselves involved in a hostage situation and end up becoming reluctant allies and revealing surprising truths about themselves.
1 p.m. Friday, July 30: Steve Capers, managing partner at Martha’s Vineyard Comedy Fest, presents as part of the 2021 African American Heritage House Lecture Series.
MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT
Chautauqua’s Mystic Heart Meditation Program offers community members daily meditation sessions at 7:30 a.m. throughout the week.
Tickets are available for purchase at tickets.chq.org and at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning Program Tickets are $30; Afternoon Program Tickets are $15. The fee for Evening Program tickets varies based on the evening entertainment. For tickets and information, visit tickets.chq.org or call 716-357-6250. Program Tickets permit access to the Chautauqua Institution grounds four hours prior to the scheduled start time of an event. Patrons are invited to arrive early and explore the grounds and other amenities, including free access to world-class art galleries, plus shops and restaurants. Admission to Chautauqua is always free on Sundays.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage, and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution’s mission.
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